Tampa Bay (29-29) at New York (33-23)

Partly Cloudy Currently: New York, NY
Temp: 73° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Mon Jun 8, 2009
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New York Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte(notes) earned a victory in the final game at the old Yankee Stadium, but he hasn’t seemed at ease in the team’s new home lately.

Pettitte will try to get more comfortable Monday night and help the Yankees win their rain-shortened, three-game series against the visiting Tampa Bay Rays.

Pettitte (5-2, 4.33 ERA) helped close out the team’s 85-year-old former home Sept. 21 against Baltimore, earning the victory by allowing two earned runs over five innings in a 7-3 win. Since recording a win in his first game at the new Yankee Stadium on April 21 - a 5-3 victory over Oakland - the 15-year veteran has a 6.53 ERA in his last five home starts, allowing at least four runs in each.

After exiting a May 29 win at Cleveland because of a strained lower back, Pettitte suffered the loss in Wednesday night’s 4-2 defeat to visiting Texas as he issued a season-high six walks and yielded four runs over five innings.

“I couldn’t get ahead of anybody,” Pettitte said. “It was embarrassing, actually. We’re playing too good for me to go out there and scuffle like that.”

Pettitte is 15-4 with a 3.85 ERA in 26 career starts against the Rays but is 2-3 with a 4.95 ERA in the last seven matchups. In an 8-6 home loss May 7 to Tampa Bay, he gave up five runs - on four homers - in six innings but did not factor in the decision.

With some help from the visiting team on Sunday, the Yankees (33-23) kept the Rays from making themselves too comfortable at their new stadium by rallying for a 4-3 win - their major league-leading 20th comeback victory this season.

New York, which had lost three straight at home to Tampa Bay, trailed 3-1 heading into its half of the eighth before Robinson Cano(notes) drew a bases-loaded walk and Mark Teixeira(notes) scored the tying run on Willy Aybar’s(notes) error.

Hideki Matsui(notes) then beat out a potential inning-ending, double-play grounder to drive in Alex Rodriguez(notes) with the go-ahead run, and Mariano Rivera(notes) bounced back from his worst outing of the season to record his 13th save with a perfect ninth inning.

“They’re like us; they do play all nine,” said Rays pitcher J.P. Howell(notes), who walked two while recording only two outs. “They’re ready to pounce when they get (a break).”

The Yankees also homered in their 16th straight home game as Nick Swisher(notes) hit the 100th at the new stadium with a solo shot in the third inning.

However, Tampa Bay’s scheduled starter, Andy Sonnanstine(notes) (4-5, 7.07), kept the ball inside the park in New York on May 6. The Yankees failed to go deep against Sonnanstine in a 4-3 loss in 10 innings - their only home game without a homer this season.

The right-hander, 2-1 with a 5.00 ERA in six career starts against New York, allowed two runs over 7 1-3 innings in that game and also yielded two runs to the Yankees over five innings April 15 in Tampa Bay. He didn’t factor in the decision in either start.

After hitting eight homers in their first three games at Yankee Stadium, the Rays (29-29) snapped a 12-game streak with a home run Sunday.

B.J. Upton(notes) extended his hitting streak to 10 games with an RBI double, and Gabe Gross(notes) had a two-run single in the sixth.

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Starting Pitchers

A. Sonnanstine ChC vs. A. Pettitte NYY
6-9 Record 14-8
6.77 ERA 4.16
60 K 148
34 BB 76
1.66 WHIP 1.38


Monday, Jun 8